Wild Thing Wednesday welcomes a seasonal stopover with the snow goose. Nesting in the arctic tundra and overwintering in the southern United States and Northern Mexico, these majestic waterfowl can sometimes be found in Horicon during the migration seasons and are much more commonly seen in the fall migration than the spring migration. If you see a lone white goose, mixed in with Canada geese, it might be a snow goose! Slightly smaller than a Canada goose, most snow geese will be almost entirely white with black wingtips. However, there is also a darker color phase called a “blue morph” that will turn up from time to time. Snow geese can tolerate cold weather easily, but still must migrate in order to have food that is not covered by snow and ice. Generally, snow geese will move through the Horicon area later in the fall migration than many other birds, stopping for several days at a time to rest and refuel along their long migration journey. Snow geese are not picky about what they eat along the way, and will consume a very wide array of edible plant material. Our window of time for a snow goose sighting is limited and they are typically now found further west. It’s a reminder that every week during a Horicon migration will have a new set of possible wildlife moving in and out as we prepare for winter.
Photo Credit: Jeff Bahls